Apology for NT mission abuse survivors

·2-min read

Dozens of Stolen Generation abuse survivors are set to receive an apology and compensation from a Catholic mission in the Northern Territory.

It comes after 42 Aboriginal Territorians took legal action over their treatment at the Garden Point Catholic Church Mission on Melville Island, 100km north of Darwin.

They'll now get a financial settlement and formal apology for the sexual and physical abuse they suffered there as children between 1949 and 1962.

"This is an important step in acknowledging the pain and devastation caused decades ago," the group's lawyer Grant Dearlove said on Thursday.

The Garden Point Catholic Church Mission was established with the intention of housing, educating and assimilating children removed from the custody of their parents as part of the Stolen Generation.

Some children at the mission were allegedly sexually, physically and psychologically abused by church representatives.

The Catholic Diocese of Darwin and The Corporation of the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and the Commonwealth reached a settlement with a denial of liability in June.

The request for an apology and acknowledgement of the suffering the children had endured was started in 2019 by survivor Maxine Kunde.

She contacted other survivors after her brother, Alfie Calma, died.

Mr Calma was also a survivor and had suffered sexual abuse at the mission and lifelong mental anguish.

Ms Kunde then formed a committee with the group of survivors and began the process of seeking justice.

"While a formal apology and ceremony cannot reverse what happened in the past and loss they endured, for many it will be part of their healing journey," Mr Dearlove said.

"These survivors have shown tremendous courage to come forward.

"Their resilience over what has been a traumatic time in their past, that they've carried most of their lives, is inspiring."

The Catholic Diocese of Darwin, the Commonwealth and The Corporation of the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart will deliver their formal apology during a smoking ceremony in Darwin on Thursday.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting